MLS Cup Playoffs Picks: CF Montreal hosts NYCFC

Karl Rasmussen
By , Updated on: Oct 20, 2022 08:00 PM
MLS Cup Playoffs Picks: CF Montreal hosts NYCFC
  • What: 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs - CF Montreal vs. New York City FC
  • Where: Stade Saputo in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • When: Sunday, October 23, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. EST
  • How to watch: ESPN

The Conference Semifinals of the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs will continue on Sunday when CF Montreal plays host to New York City FC in a battle between two of the top dogs in the Eastern Conference. After both teams picked up clean sheets in their Round One wins, Montreal and NYCFC will look to claim their place in the Eastern Conference Finals, where the winner of the clash between Philadelphia Union and FC Cincinnati awaits.

The MLS Sunday slate consists of two games, as Austin FC and Dallas will do battle in an inner-state battle on the opposite side of the playoff bracket. Montreal and New York will represent the East, with both teams coming off tremendous seasons. Before we dive into the MLS Cup Playoffs betting action, make sure to check out our MLS betting guide and our soccer betting guide in order to get all the tips and information you need.

CF Montreal vs. NYCFC Odds

BetOnlineMoney LineTotal
Montreal+108O2.5 (-120)
NYCFC+270U2.5 (+100)

Heading into the game, Montreal are favorites on their home turf, coming in with odds to win the game at (+108). The books consider the odds for a draw after 90 minutes of regulation quite close to that of an NYCFC victory. NYCFC has (+270) odds to win the game in regulation, while the draw comes in at (+252). 

CF Montreal

CF Montreal had an incredible regular season, during which they finished as the Eastern Conference's second seed. Montreal were just two points shy of Eastern Conference Champions Philadelphia, who ended the year with 67 points. Montreal won 20 games, drew five, and lost nine during the 34-games season, racking up 65 points. They finished 10 points ahead of third-place finishers NYCFC, so they should be at a sizeable advantage in their head-to-head matchup.

When these teams faced off during the MLS season, things didn't go in favor of Montreal. In New York, Montreal was routed 4-1 in a humbling defeat. When the series shifted to Montreal, the game was a scoreless 0-0 draw. In terms of their head-to-head, NYCFC has the upper hand, but Montreal was comfortably in control of the game when it was played at Stade Saputo. NYCFC had just two shots in the game, while Montreal attempted 13, holding 59 percent of the possession.

During the regular season, Montreal scored a total of 63 goals while conceding 50. They had the third-highest goal output in the Eastern Conference, and their defense was in the middle of the pack. On offense, the club is led by top goalscorer Romell Quioto. The Honduras international scored 15 goals and added five assists on the season. Kei Ansu Amara was Montreal's leading assister, having set up seven goals for his team while scoring nine of his own.

CF Montreal To beat NYCFC


While there was a bit of separation between these two teams in terms of season-total points, NYCFC was just behind Montreal in the MLS table. With 55 points in the regular season, NYCFC edged out NY Red Bulls by two points to secure the third seed in the conference. They won 16 games, drew seven, and lost 11 during the campaign, scoring 57 goals while conceding just 41.

Only one team in the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia, surrendered fewer goals than NYCFC, though two others, NY Red Bulls and Columbus, tied them at 41. Their +16 goal differential was second-best in the East, showcasing just how critical their defense was to their success. Entering the game as underdogs, NYCFC, as previously mentioned, fared well in their head-to-head matchup during the regular season.

While a 4-1 win seems like a longshot for Sunday's showdown, NYCFC have shown they can hang with Montreal. They were outplayed on the road, which is where they'll play this weekend, but they have what it takes to pull off the upset. If the stalwart NYCFC defense can continue to shut opponents down, they could stun Montreal and advance to the Conference Finals.

In order to do so, they'll need goalscorers such as Valentin Castellanos (13 goals), Gabriel Pereira (9 goals), and Heber (9 goals) to show up in the elimination game. Additionally, Alexander Callens, Nicolas Acevedo, and Co. will need to continue to flex their strength defensively and ensure that any chance Montreal gets on goal is one they had to battle for.

Both teams enter the matchup in strong form. In fact, both teams have won each of their last five matchups heading into Sunday's spectacle. During that span, Montreal has outscored opponents by a margin of 10-5, while NYCFC has the edge over its opponents, 11-2. Having surrendered only two goals in their last five games should give the NYCFC defense a huge feeling of confidence heading into the critical matchup against Montreal.

New York City FC To beat CF Montreal

The Pick

While Montreal is a well-rounded team, we're going to go with the defensive-minded NYCFC to pull off a shocking upset victory in the Conference Semifinals. At (+270) odds, the value for NYCFC to take down Montreal is simply too good to pass up, especially given how things fared in their head-to-head matchup during the season. It's a risky play, as the odds suggest, but NYCFC could get the job done and advance to the next round of the MLS Cup Playoffs. 

New York City FC To beat CF Montreal

Before diving into the MLS Cup Playoffs betting action, make sure to check out our top sportsbooks reviews in order to find the best fits for your betting needs.

Meet the author

Karl Rasmussen

Karl Rasmussen leverages his journalism degree and passion for sports in his expert coverage of Major League Soccer (MLS) and fantasy leagues. Hailing from Denmark but a longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Karl brings an international perspective to his analysis...

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